May 31st, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Face-attack suspect's mother: My son 'was no zombie'

The mother of Rudy Eugene, who was shot and killed by a police officer as he chewed the face off a homeless man in Miami, says her son was "a nice kid" who could have been subdued with a Taser rather than gunfire.

"He was a good kid. He gave me a nice card on Mother’s Day. Everyone says he was a zombie. He was no zombie. That was my son,” the mother, who asked that her name not be revealed, told CNN affliate WFOR.

'Zombie apocalypse' trending as bad news spreads quickly

Eugene, 31, was killed by a police officer on Saturday after an 18-minute attack on a homeless man, identified by police as 65-year-old Ronald Poppo. Video of the incident shows Eugene coming across Poppo on a sidewalk along Miami's MacArthur Causeway, stripping clothes off him and eventually chewing on his face.

Police said Poppo lost 75% of his face in the attack. He was in critical condition at a Miami hospital.

Eugene's mother said police didn't need to shoot her son.

"They could have tased him," she told WFOR. "I saw what happened on TV and I started crying.”

Eugene's girlfriend, who also requested anonymity from WFOR, said the attacker seen in that video was nothing like the man she lived with.

“He loved God. He always read the Bible. He would give you knowledge on the Bible. Everywhere he went his Bible went. When he left he had his Bible in his hand,” the girlfriend is quoted as saying.

“That wasn’t him, that was his body but it wasn’t his spirit.  Somebody did this to him,” WFOR quotes her as saying.

Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar told CNN affiliate WPLG that he suspects Eugene was under the influence of "bath salts," a drug that contains synthetic stimulants that can "cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions," according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

"He was a nice, outgoing, ready-to-help-anybody kind of guy," Cassandra Metayer, a high school friend of Eugene's, told WFOR. “Someone in their right mind doesn’t do that. This is not the act of a normal person. It has to be someone under the influence."

Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said officials won't know for certain whether drugs played a role in the attack until toxicology reports are completed in a month or so. But he said police have been seeing increased incidents of drug-induced crime in the area.

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Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Florida
soundoff (1,699 Responses)
  1. Truth

    When incidents like this happen which can not be explained or fully understood, people blame "drugs" for everything. This has nothing to do with drugs. We have had 3 similar incidents now in less than 2 weeks. Something is going on that people nowadays refuse to accept, and will call you "crazy" for even considering. This is obviously very demonic in nature. Possession is a very real thing, yes, even today. Zombies do not exist people, but Satan and all his angels do. The world is so completely blind right now that it believes their must be some "logical" explanation for a normal person to up and brutally murder someone and then have the urge to eat them?? And you blame drugs? Really? Im pretty sure most of you on here have been high or drunk on something at one time or another. Did your "high" ever give you the urge to do something like this? The bible is not the problem. It's the enemy of the bible who is hard at work. And the vast majority of you have no clue. Its amazing.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      wow possession? So you're ignoring the fact that there have been cannibals forever, and the fact that people do just as crazy things all the time when they are on drugs.

      June 1, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Satan's and Angels exist but Zombies don't? Zombies are more plausible than your man in the sky theory. Who cares, this dude was in the process of slowly killing a person. One less idiot to deal with.

      June 1, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      did you do the toxicology testing? do you know drugs weren't the reason? do you even know what these types of drugs can make people do? don't bring religion in to this – god or no god, satan or no satan... the guy was doped up on drugs that few people have experience doing. end of story.

      June 1, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Zombie Slayer

      hahah, what a joke. I am glad that you just "know" Satan exists and his minions are doing this. This is a case of actual zombieism. I have seen it first hand and trust me, that was a zombie. Once, a zombie tried eating my pet squirrel who thankfully, was too fast for the zombie and ran up a tree. I heard all the commotion, came out and the zombie thought me dinner. I asked him if he knew satan and it kinda shook its head as if saying no. I then shot and killed the zombie and later studied it. My findings were that it was not religious at all.

      June 1, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • midwestrngrl

      I was raised on this crap. There are so many logic problems with this God and Satan crap. This man was delusional and on something that made him lose all reality and reason. The whole world in the power of satan is tiring.

      June 1, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • The Bible didn't do anything to you

      Preach 🙂

      June 1, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • It's real

      Preach it honey 🙂

      June 1, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. fugitall

    Sure he stripped naked, ate a guys face off and growled at police. Does that make him a bad guy?...deep inside he was full of love...and ears...and eyes...and nose...and...

    June 1, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. freezimmy

    Where's al and jessie now? a black man eats a white man and I believe it's because of racism.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. fugitall

    This is a call for Zombies everywhere to come out of the closet...or from under the bed!

    June 1, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. ashbasherx3

    guess he switched out his bible and love for god for drugs made in someones bathtub and cannibalism. no big deal.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. ronny_s

    Zombie is as zombie does... But if his mother prefers, it's cannibal is as cannibal does.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Zombie Slayer

    If you all see any more zombies please notify me asap. I specialize in slaying them. Trust me, this mom is all wrong. A tazer will not subdue a zombie. In fact it stimulates what brain matter they have left and makes them faster and more dangerous. Avoid tazering a zombie at all cost and do not hide behind an electric fence. Shoot them in the brain or feed them someone you don't like.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. M Thompson

    Your son was an animal!!!

    June 1, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. Beers

    He loved God. He always read the Bible. He would give you knowledge on the Bible. Everywhere he went his Bible went. When he left he had his Bible in his hand,” the girlfriend is quoted as saying.

    Sounds like a Zombie to me.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Decima

    "He loved God. He always read the Bible. He would give you knowledge on the Bible. Everywhere he went his Bible went. When he left he had his Bible in his hand"

    I forgot that this automatically makes him a good person, and not a face-eating psychopath.

    Oh, wait...

    June 1, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Restaurant Critic

    Outrageous! The place din't have tablecloths, he put ketchup on the meat before tasting it, and didn't bother to use a knife and fork! The service was undistinguished, and the patron was shot after his meal. This underpass only garners 1 star in my book.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Aeromechanic

    Demonic possession?

    It happens to the best of 'em.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lynn

    I can't see how this incident has spurred such ignorant,callous comments.This is the most horrific incident of suffering I have ever heard of.Bottom line is two lives,and anyone 'close' to the incident...(saw it,was on the scene,was related to either,even those of us who have learned of this) have been impacted.The bible does not create this,even if we admit that people have committed atrocities in the name of the bible,of politics,war,money etc.Choices humans make.That is what did this.Free will.And though it is speculative as to whether drugs were involved,it is a strong possibility.There is a huge chance that mental illness or drugs contributed to this.It is heart breaking,to think the victim was aware all that time.Heart breaking that anyone had to see it in their lifetime.I understand that people joke about things that are this bad for various reasons,but,I simply can't see humor in light of this horrific occurance.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. caesarbc

    Sorry ma'am... by definition that is exactly what he was... your son was a zombie.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. midwestrngrl

    he obviously had gone stark raving is possible. it does happen. the son you knew lost all reason and conscience.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
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